What is stress urinary incontinence (SUI)?
SUI involves the involuntary loss of urine as a result of increased force, pressure or stress on the bladder. This can be a result of coughing, jumping, sneezing, lifting, exercise and numerous other physical activities. Mild cases of SUI may only be triggered by vigorous actions such as coughing and exercising, while major cases can be triggered by as little as standing up or walking across the room.
Assessment of SUI
To begin your assessment with Dr Karen McKertich, your medical history will be assessed along with a discussion around the nature, frequency and severity of the symptoms you are experiencing. This is followed by a physical examination and any tests or further investigations that are deemed necessary to find the cause of the problem.
Sling surgery and other treatment options for SUI
A variety of treatments are available for SUI, the most effective of which will vary based on individual circumstances. Non-surgical treatments include but are not limited to weight loss, cutting out smoking, continence devices and continence aids. Injectable agents, coloposuspension and artificial urinary sphincter can also be used.
Sling surgery is also available at our Melbourne clinic to treat mild to moderate cases specifically in males. Sling surgery is a minimally invasive procedure where a device is implanted underneath the urethra in order to provide dynamic compression and repositioning of the urethra.
Pelvic floor physiotherapy for SUI
The bladder, urethra and other pelvic organs are supported by a “hammock” of muscles known as the pelvic floor. These muscles can be weakened by ageing, injury and excessive body weight, which can exacerbate the symptoms of SUI.
Pelvic floor physiotherapy aims to strengthen these muscles and provide additional support to the pelvic organs. This is often used a form of treatment for SUI, as strengthening the pelvic floor can help lessen involuntary leakage.